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Mohamed bin Zayed confers Order of Zayed on Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques

posted on 04/12/2016

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has conferred the Order of Zayed on The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, in recognition to his pivotal role in strengthening the fraternal cooperation between the two countries and supporting the Gulf and the Arab common action.

This came during the reception held this evening at Al Mushrif Palace, Abu Dhabi, to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his accompanying delegation.

Earlier Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Supreme Council Members, Their Highnesses Rulers of the Emirates, Crown Princes and Deputy Rulers, welcomed here on Saturday The King of Saudi Arabia.

They expressed their pride in the relationship of the UAE, led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in terms of solid fraternal ties.

Among others present were H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah; H.H. Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman; H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah; H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm al-Qaiwain and HH. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras al-Khaimah. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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Bilateral ties will undergo paradigm shift during King Salman's trip to UAE, says Mohamed bin Zayed

posted on 04/12/2016

The historic visit of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, to the UAE underlines the depth of bilateral ties and the strong foundations laid by the late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, affirmed His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The visit of the Saudi leader is of special significance with the UAE celebrating its 45th National Day, Sheikh Mohammed noted.

Sheikh Zayed believed that Saudi Arabia acts as a safety valve in the region and a key actor and pillar with regard to GCC and Arab security, HH said. It is an approach which is cherished today by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan who took bilateral ties to new heights in terms of solidarity and co-operation at historical junctures facing the GCC, Arab world and beyond, HH said.

According to him, the will of the UAE and Saudi Arabia was united in defending the rights and justice in Yemen as well as Arab security, and in confronting interference in the internal affairs of the region and plots against the security, sovereignty and the higher interests of Arab countries.

'The UAE always believes that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the long pole in the Gulf and Arab tent and its security and stability are part and parcel of the UAE and other GCC and Arab states. This confirms the close strategic co-ordination between the two countries at all levels and all fields at the Arab, Gulf, regional and global arenas,' HH Sheikh Mohamed noted in a statement on the occasion of the visit of the Saudi King.

'Arab history will always remember the historic stance and decisive decisions of King Salman against attempts by greedy foreign forces to meddle in Arab internal affairs. King Salman created a unified GCC-Arab front to confront these interferences. History will long ponder the operation to restore legitimacy in Yemen at a critical juncture in the brave Arab action that is driven by self-initiative and self-dependence in protecting Arab higher interests aborting plots of expansion and hegemony in the region,' HH remarked.

'We are confident that King Salman's trip to the UAE will induce a paradigm shift in bilateral ties which are based on the unity of the Emirati-Saudi political leaderships' will as well as on the common aspirations of the two brotherly peoples,' HH Sheikh Mohamed concluded. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395304172916.html


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UAE-Saudi Arabia ties going through best times: Saudi Ambassador

posted on 04/12/2016

UAE-Saudi Arabia bilateral ties are going through their best time thanks to the sound policies of the leadership of the two countries, said Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Bishr, Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to the UAE.

'Ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia deliver the message of love and spread peace, security and stability. They are working to correct misconceptions in some countries and stand against internal and external influencers,' Al Bishr said in an interview with Emirates News Agency, WAM.

Bilateral co-operation, he said, was based on brotherhood, common religion, destiny, history, culture, noble values and traditions, and seeks to denounce terrorism and extremism, adhere to tolerant Islamic teachings, respect international laws and norms and contribute to efforts towards peace, security and stability worldwide.

'The UAE and Saudi Arabia have shared common visions, policies and approaches towards regional and global challenges, which represent a key part of the collective security and stability of the GCC and Arab world. The two countries have also shared prudent, balanced and strong policies in confronting extremism, terrorism, sectarianism and in promoting and encouraging inter-cultural dialogue,' he stressed.

Commenting on the current visit of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, to the UAE, the Saudi Ambassador said visits between brothers go beyond the diplomatic courtesy engaged in by leaders.

On the UAE's 45th National Day, he said, 'The celebration is an important event for every GCC and Arab national.... our joy today is great.' Economically, he said there were 2,366 Saudi companies and 66 trade agencies operating in the UAE by the end of 2015.

'Two-way trade stood at AED21.4 billion in 2015, exceeding any volume among GCC member states,' he said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395304175338.html


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Mohamed bin Zayed calls on the world to share responsibility for protecting human cultural heritage #CultureConference

posted on 04/12/2016

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on Saturday called on all countries to work together to curb the illicit trade in antiquities and protect archaeological sites and cultural heritage from violence and terrorism during armed conflicts.

H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed's call came in his speech delivered at the closing session of the Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Conference, a joint initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed and the French President, Francois Hollande, in the presence of a number of foreign heads of states, prime ministers, ministers and dignitaries.

"This conference gives us the chance to call on governments worldwide to work together to safeguard global human heritage, which, as a result of civil wars, conflicts, terrorism and trafficking of antiquities by criminal gangs, has been more endangered than ever. These disruptions and crimes aim at erasing the memories of entire nations and destroying their human heritage. Needless to say, any damaging actions against our human heritage are rejected by all religions, norms and international charters," Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said.

Sheikh Mohamed stressed that safeguarding human cultural heritage is not just the responsibility of a single society or state, but the responsibility of all governments and peoples of the world because what is at stake is the heritage of humanity as a whole.

Sheikh Mohamed described the UAE's hosting of this conference as "part of our long-standing policy of paying close attention to all issues of interest to humanity as a whole."

Highlighting the UAE's significant contribution to protecting human cultural heritage, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi said, "We have also done our part by putting our own culture and heritage at the forefront of our attention. We have passed laws that are aimed at protecting and preserving our cultural heritage and collective memory. We in the UAE realise that our national heritage, which has been taking shape over millennia, is an integral part of our identity and who we are."

"We realise that our heritage is a key part of our national mosaic that we continue to build and enhance as we venture into the future; because it is our heritage that fuels the hearts and minds of our young as they make their way into the future. We also realise that preserving our own heritage helps enrich human culture and heritage as a whole. Therefore, it is the responsibility of all of us towards future generations to protect our common heritage which will help make their world a richer one," H.H. Sheikh Mohamed added.

Sheikh Mohamed also commended the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, for playing a significant role in protecting all archaeological sites and places of historical significance, and in preserving human heritage across the globe, as well as in setting up relevant programmes and initiatives to preserve this heritage.

The following is the full text of the speech of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, at the conclusion of the Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage conference in Abu Dhabi: "Your Highnesses, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen: It is my pleasure to warmly welcome you all to the United Arab Emirates. I would also like to thank you for attending this conference and for your great interest in forging an effective global position on the protection and safeguarding of endangered cultural heritage in times of wars and conflicts. Your gathering reflects an international understanding of the imperative need to counter the growing menace against our human cultural heritage. I am also pleased to convey to all of you the greetings of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and his wishes for the success of this gathering.

Allow me on this occasion to express my deep gratitude and appreciation to Mr. Francois Hollande, President of France, who launched this initiative with us. This is not unexpected of our French friends who spared no effort to support culture and heritage around the word in line with their longstanding policy in this regard.

Distinguished Guests, This conference gives us the chance to call upon governments worldwide to work together to safeguard global human heritage, which has been, as a result of civil wars, conflicts, terrorism and trafficking of antiquities by criminal gangs, more endangered than ever. These disruptions and crimes aim at erasing the memories of entire nations and destroying their human heritage. Needless to say, any damaging actions against our human heritage are rejected by all religions, norms and international charters.

Safeguarding human cultural heritage is not only the responsibility of a single society or state, but the responsibility of all governments and peoples of the world because what is at stake is the heritage of humanity as a whole.

The UAE's hosting of this conference is part of our longstanding policy of paying close attention to all issues of interest to humanity as a whole. We have also done our part by putting our own culture and heritage at the forefront of our attention. We have passed laws that are aimed at protecting and preserving our cultural heritage and collective memory. We in the UAE realise that our national heritage, which has been taking shape over millennia, is an integral part of our identity and who we are. We realise that our heritage is a key part of our national mosaic that we continue to build and enhance as we venture into the future; because it is our heritage that fuels the hearts and minds of our young as they make their way into the future.

We also realise that preserving our own heritage helps enrich human culture and heritage as a whole. Therefore, it is the responsibility of all of us towards future generations to protect our common heritage which will help make their world a richer one.

In this regard, I would like to commend the pioneering role played by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, in protecting all archaeological sites and places of historical significance, and in preserving human heritage across the globe, as well as in setting up relevant programmes and initiatives to preserve this heritage.

Distinguished Guests, I would like to seize this opportunity to call upon every single country in the world to work together to bring the illicit antiquities trade under control, and confront the critical developments in this area in the past few years, especially the antiquities of some Arab states that have suffered from violence and terrorism. These antiquities and archaeological sites should be viewed as part of our common human heritage, which should not be subject to theft, trafficking or displacement.

Your Highnesses, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, I am fully confident that this conference will be a crucial turning point and milestone in international efforts towards safeguarding endangered global cultural heritage in times of war and conflicts, and that it will serve as an effective global framework for coordinating moves and initiatives in this direction, as well as a starting point for more efforts in the future.

Thank you all for your efforts in safeguarding our shared human cultural heritage around the world, and thank you for attending this important gathering." – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395304153831.html




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UNESCO commends UAE efforts to preserve endangered cultural heritage .. #CultureConference

posted on 04/12/2016

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has conferred the Order of Zayed on The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, in recognition to his pivotal role in strengthening the fraternal cooperation between the two countries and supporting the Gulf and the Arab common action.

This came during the reception held this evening at Al Mushrif Palace, Abu Dhabi, to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his accompanying delegation.

Earlier Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Supreme Council Members, Their Highnesses Rulers of the Emirates, Crown Princes and Deputy Rulers, welcomed here on Saturday The King of Saudi Arabia.

They expressed their pride in the relationship of the UAE, led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in terms of solid fraternal ties.

The two countries have been working together to revamp the ties that unite the peoples of the Gulf Cooperation Council for Arab States (GCC), and sustain their strategic continuous cooperation and coordination in issues of concern to the GCC and the Arab region as well. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395304175426.html

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395304176674.html


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Abu Dhabi Declaration reaffirms global common determination to safeguard world cultural heritage #CultureConference

posted on 04/12/2016

Heads of states and governments and representatives of international organisations and private institutions on Saturday reaffirmed their common determination to safeguard the endangered cultural heritage of all peoples, against its destruction and illicit trafficking, and pledged to act against terrorists and extremists attacking cultural diversity that is "a source of collective wealth that encourages dialogue."

"We have decided to collectively join forces. Today, armed conflicts and terrorism, across all continents are affecting millions of men and women, without sparing their centuries-old heritage. Extremists violently - and often deliberately - attack the cultures of the countries of the people they devastate, seeking to destroy the heritage which belongs to us all," the leaders said in the Abu Dhabi Declaration, issued at the conclusion of the two-day Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage conference in UAE capital.

The conference is a joint initiative Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and French President Francois Hollande. It supports the global mandate of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, to protect cultural heritage during armed conflicts.

The leaders pledged to pursue two ambitious, long-term goals to guarantee the further mobilisation of the international community for the safeguarding of heritage.

These include the creation of an international fund for the protection of endangered cultural heritage in armed conflict, and the creation of an international network of safe havens to temporarily safeguard cultural property endangered by armed conflicts or terrorism on their own territory.

The Declaration stressed that world cultural heritage represents the foundation of humanity's common future and is "a mirror of mankind, a guardian of our collective memory and a witness to the extraordinary creative spirit of humanity."

"Threatening, attacking, destroying, and looting heritage represents a strategy to weaken the very foundations of the identity of peoples, their history, and the environment in which they build their lives. Without this heritage, their memory is erased and their future is compromised," the Declaration said.

A number of foreign heads of states, prime ministers, dignitaries, experts and government representatives from more than 40 states attended the session along with H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, President Hollande, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

These included H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, Amir of Kuwait; Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi; Afghan President Ashraf Ghani; Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita; Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord of Libya Fayez al-Sarraj; Senegalese Prime Minister Mohammed Abdallah Dionne; Denis Zvizdic, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras; Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn; Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Governor of Makkah Province, Saudi Arabia; Sheikh Nasser bin Isa Al Khalifa, son of the King of Bahrain; Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Representative of the Emir of Qatar; Omani Minister of Foreign Affairs Yousuf bin Alawi; Head of the Moroccan Counsellors' Council Hakim bin Shammas; Prince Aga Khan, head of the Ismailis.

A number of sheikhs and senior officials from the UAE also attended the closing session.

The following is the full text of the Abu Dhabi Declaration, issued at the conclusion of the Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage conference: "As a mirror of mankind, a guardian of our collective memory and a witness to the extraordinary creative spirit of humanity, world cultural heritage represents the foundation of our common future.

Today, armed conflicts and terrorism, across all continents are affecting millions of men and women, without sparing their centuries-old heritage. Extremists violently - and often deliberately - attack the cultures of the countries of the people they devastate, seeking to destroy the heritage which belongs to us all.

Threatening, attacking, destroying, and looting heritage represents a strategy to weaken the very foundations of the identity of peoples, their history, and the environment in which they build their lives. Without this heritage, their memory is erased and their future is compromised.

Heritage, in all its diversity, is a source of collective wealth that encourages dialogue. It is a vehicle for closer relations, tolerance, freedom, and respect. Its destruction is a threat to peace, as is the illicit trafficking of cultural property that often emerges in times of crisis.

Therefore, as Heads of States and Governments, and their Representatives, International Organisations and Private Institutions, we are gathered here, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to reaffirm our common determination to safeguard the endangered cultural heritage of all peoples, against its destruction and illicit trafficking. We have decided to collectively join forces.

We commend the call made by the Director-General of UNESCO and express support for the Global Coalition "Unite for Heritage," launched to protect our shared heritage from destruction and trafficking. We welcome the "Strategy for the Reinforcement of UNESCO's Actions for the Protection of Culture and Promotion of Cultural Pluralism in the Event of Armed Conflict."

We need to ensure respect for universal values, in line with the international conventions of The Hague of 1899, 1907, 1954, and the latter 1954 and 1999 Protocols, which require us to protect human life, as well as cultural property in times of armed conflict. This process has to be carried out in close liaison with UNESCO, which has worked tirelessly since 1954 to protect heritage, to combat illicit trafficking, and to promote culture as an instrument to bring people closer together and foster dialogue.

In the spirit of universality and the principles of the UNESCO conventions, we are committed to pursuing two ambitious, long term, goals to guarantee the further mobilisation of the international community for the safeguarding of heritage: - The creation of an international fund for the protection of endangered cultural heritage in armed conflict, which would help finance preventive and emergency operations, fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural artefacts, as well as contribute to the restoration of damaged cultural property.

- The creation of an international network of safe havens to temporarily safeguard cultural property endangered by armed conflicts or terrorism on their own territory, or if they cannot be secured at a national level, in a neighbouring country, or as a last resort, in another country, in accordance with international law at the request of the governments concerned, and taking into account the national and regional characteristics and contexts of cultural property to be protected.

At this conference, we, as Heads of States and Governments, and their Representatives, International Organisations and Private Institutions unite for heritage in support of international efforts to safeguard cultural heritage threatened by armed conflicts and terrorism. A follow up conference in 2017 will help assess the implementation of the initiatives launched in Abu Dhabi and the first projects financed by the international fund.

We recognise the eminent role of the United Nations and its institutions, and particularly of UNESCO, as the only UN organisation mandated for the protection of culture, and call upon the United Nations Security Council to support us in achieving these goals, in full accordance with the United Nations Charter." – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395304155034.html


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UNESCO commends UAE efforts to preserve endangered cultural heritage .. #CultureConference

posted on 04/12/2016

The hosting of The Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Conference in Abu Dhabi is seen as a sign of interest in the world's cultural heritage threatened by conflicts, Nada Al Hassan, Chief of the Arab Region, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, has said.

She added the UAE is among the first Arab countries that have shown avid interest in this respect.

Al Hassan said during her participation at the international conference, which concluded on Saturday, "We are pleased with the interest shown by the Arab country in the cultural heritage amid absence of Arab efforts over the past years."

She noted that the conference assembled experts and specialists, stressing that Abu Dhabi is leading a major and very important initiative, which will help in protection of the heritage threatened by conflicts in the world and Arab countries.

Al Hassan explained that UNESCO has been working since 1950s to protect the cultural heritage threatened by conflicts, adding that UNESCO struck the international conventions to protect the threatened heritage, such as the Hague Convention on Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.

She said that UNESCO set international legal mechanisms to protect the heritage through its practical experiences in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Mali and other countries that underwent conflicts and disputes. Some of heritage sites have been rehabilitated as well as communities to safeguard the cultural heritage, Al Hassan added.

She underlined that UNESCO is currently working at the conflict zones to assess the damage, build the capacity and set up institutions to protect the heritage through preventive protection as well as set future heritage protection action plans.

Al Hassan said UNESCO coordinates efforts of organisations in Germany, Italy and France to develop a unified strategy regarding working with human resources in areas of the endangered cultural heritage. "This issue will be the most important topic that catches attention of the Global Fund for Protection of Endangered Cultural Properties in times of armed conflicts, which was announced during the conference in Abu Dhabi, she said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395304177696.html


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US$100m fund pledged to protect endangered heritage sites #Culture Conference_2016

posted on 04/12/2016

The International Conference of the Safeguarding of Endangered Cultural Heritage got underway in Abu Dhabi this morning at the Emirates Palace.

With the support of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and French President, Francois Hollande, the UNESCO-sponsored event was opened by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority Chairman, Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Jack Lang, President of the Institut du Monde Arabe, along with UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova.

In his speech, Mohammed Al Mubarak said that he was delighted to see representatives from over 40 countries coming together to discuss this important topic. "Here in the UAE, we have a history of growth that combines urbanisation with protecting our cultural heritage, and we have an archaeological site recognised by UNESCO as one of the oldest cradles of humanity in the world," he said.

"Conflict causes irreparable damage to valuable heritage sites in Syria, Iraq, Mali and many others. Today, we establish a US$100m fund to focus on protecting and rebuilding these sites, and build a system of protecting them for future generations. This will be a historical initiative to pass down our legacy of tolerance and value of heritage," Al Mubarak said.

Jack Lang, the President of the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, said that he was delighted to be part of what he called a "chance to be united in our contributions to preserve and support the work being carried out by the United Arab Emirates under the guidance of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan."

In his opening speech, Lang added, "This is an historical event - the fruit of the friendship that links our two countries - but we are short of time - the problem is getting worse and it is becoming harder to protect this heritage in times of war and terrorism. We work hand in hand with UNESCO to protect heritage and we are sharing responsibility with the UAE in this fight - the UAE is a role model for the rest of the world in our quest to implement this initiative, and I want to thank the UAE and its leadership for their contributions."

Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, said that she welcomed the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and the French President for their leadership and support in this struggle.

"It is my pleasure to support these efforts to safeguard heritage from deliberate crimes, war crimes, in conflict zones where great and rare items are being destroyed. Without tolerance, without heritage, society is also destroyed. Too many people have died in their efforts to protect heritage, and now is the time to unite for heritage," she said.

"UNESCO is the only United Nations agency tasked with the protection of culture and heritage, and we have a long history of working on the protection of both tangible and intangible heritage, in places like Mali, Cambodia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where UNESCO is supporting governments to protect global heritage, along with a broad coalition of partners, including important international organisations, government bodies and the private sector.

"Today, with our important partners - France and the UAE - we are gathering to create an international fund to ensure the protection of culture, to re-build, protect, and unite for heritage," she added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395304091679.html


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Closing session of Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Conference begins #CultureConference

posted on 04/12/2016

The closing session of the Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage conference has begun in the presence of UAE leaders and foreign heads of states, prime ministers and dignitaries.

The two-day conference, a joint initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and French President Francois Hollande, is due to conclude later yesterday with the adoption of the Abu Dhabi Declaration in support of the global mandate of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, to protect cultural heritage during armed conflicts.

A number of foreign heads of states, prime ministers and dignitaries attended the session along with H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, President Hollande, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

These included H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, Amir of Kuwait; Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi; Afghan President Ashraf Ghani; Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita; Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord of Libya Fayez al-Sarraj; Senegalese Prime Minister Mohammed Abdallah Dionne; Denis Zvizdic, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras; Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn; Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Governor of Makkah Province, Saudi Arabia; Sheikh Nasser bin Isa Al Khalifa, son of the King of Bahrain; Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Representative of the Emir of Qatar; Omani Minister of Foreign Affairs Yousuf bin Alawi; Head of the Moroccan Counsellors' Council Hakim bin Shammas; Prince Aga Khan, head of the Ismailis.

Emirati officials who were in attendance included Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of Federal National Council (FNC); H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; H.H. Sheikh Omar bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation; H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan Chairman of the Board of Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs (ZHO); Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, and Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395304152525.html


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French President tours Louvre Abu Dhabi

posted on 04/12/2016

French President Francois Hollande, accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, on Saturday toured the Louvre Abu Dhabi site, the first universal museum in the Arab world, and reviewed the progress in construction of the cultural landmark.

The French President's tour was part of his visit to the UAE to attend the Conference on Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage, which was jointly organised by the UAE and France under the patronage of UNESCO from the 2nd to 3rd December, 2016, in Abu Dhabi.

HH Sheikh Abdullah welcomed President Hollande to the satellite Louvre, praising the deep bilateral ties which he affirmed had expanded into intellectual, cultural and knowledge sphere.

The visit was aimed at updating the French President on the latest construction work on the striking and innovative museum, HH said.

'Through the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the UAE and France are seeking to highlight the deep cultural exchange and interaction between civilisations, look at the future and convey a message to generations about the importance of intellectual and knowledge exchange,' HH said.

He expressed his pride at the Emirati-French co-operation in this ambitious cultural project.

Hollande expressed his thanks and appreciation to the curators, developers, artists and architects including the designer of the museum Pritzker Prize winning architect Jean Nouvel. He termed the Louvre Abu Dhabi as an embodiment of the strong ties between the UAE and France.

Some of the masterpieces from the Louvre Paris collections and from other major French museums will be displayed at Louvre Abu Dhabi, he added.

At the end of the visit, the French President and his host Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed unveiled a memorial plaque marking the visit of the Louvre site.

'In culmination of the deep friendship bonds that bind our countries, the United Arab Emirates presents the Louvre Abu Dhabi to the whole humanity to stand as a ray of hope for the unity of the world and to serve as a centre for human heritage, a message for mutual respect among peoples,' the president wrote on the plaque.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is scheduled to welcome visitors in 2017.The Louvre Abu Dhabi will feature loaned paintings from 13 French cultural institutions, including Leonardo da Vinci, Van Gogh and Henri Matisse.

The central display will display relevant and revealing works lining one unique path – the principal route via which visitors will navigate their way through the museum. The journey proceeds chronologically with different civilisations developing in parallel as visitors move forward on a journey through time. This display features four major periods: Archaeology and Birth of Civilisation; Medieval Days and Birth of Islam; Classical Period from Humanism to Enlightenment; and Modern and Contemporary Art, starting at the end of the 18th century.

Visitors will be invited to study the works themselves, compare them, and revel in their unique qualities and meanings. A variety of textual and multimedia resources in multiple languages will place the artworks in context, explain where they come from, and relate rich histories of the objects and artworks.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Prince Aga Khan, designers of the museum Jean Nouvel, Head of the Louvre museum Jean-Luc Martinez, Manuel Rabate, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, Deputy Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi Hissa Al Dhaheri, and a number of French officials, delegates and representatives of Abu Dhabu Tourism and Culture Authority, accompanied the French president on the tour. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395304165722.html


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Vice President, Mohamed bin Zayed and Rulers of the Emirates inaugurate Etihad Museum #UAENationalDay45

posted on 04/12/2016

Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, along with Members of the Federal Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates, inaugurated the Etihad (Union) Museum.

The Museum is located adjacent to the Union House where the declaration to establish the independent state of the United Arab Emirates and bring into effect a temporary constitution was signed in 1971. The inauguration coincides with the 45th UAE National Day.

The inauguration was attended by Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi; Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Ajman His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuami; Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Fujairah His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi; Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Umm Al Qaiwain His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla; and Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid received Their Highnesses, who arrived in an official convoy through 2nd of December Street. A photograph was taken at the same spot where a picture of the founding fathers was taken in 1971.

Later, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and Members of the Federal Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates officially inaugurated the Museum which is spread over an area of 26,000 square meters.

Crown Prince of Dubai H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan also attended the inauguration ceremony.

Their Highnesses toured the Museum where they were briefed about its different sections by Chairman of the Museum's Advisory Committee Mohamed Ahmed Al Mur. The Museum was built underground and is connected with Dar Al Dheafa.

The entrance of the new Museum is designed in the shape of a manuscript with seven columns that simulate the pen used to sign the declaration. The museum includes permanent and temporary halls, a theatre, an educational area, a recreational area, administrative offices and car parking.

The Etihad Museum comprises eight permanent galleries in addition to a temporary gallery to exhibit items from international museums.

Their Highnesses started their tour by visiting the ‘The Journey to Union' gallery, which features exclusive photos displayed for the first time that were contributed by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed as part of the 'Let's Preserve the Legacy' campaign.

This was followed by a tour of the Museum Theatre, which displays films and audio exhibits. They then visited the ‘Founding Fathers' gallery, which features photographs of the UAE's founding fathers, their belongings and an interactive screen that provides historical information about their biography and their family tree.

They also visited the ‘Stamp and Postal history' gallery, which displays stamps dating back to the period between 1909 and 1971. They also viewed an interactive map of the UAE.

In addition, they toured ‘The Road to the Union' exhibition, which highlights the key dates that led to the Union. They also toured the ‘Planting the Union' exhibition, where they watched a holographic movie that depicts the meeting between the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. The movie is narrated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

They also toured the galleries titled ‘Change and Independence', ‘Unification of the Emirates', ‘The Constitution', and ‘The UAE: One Nation Common Future'.

They also visited the renovated ‘Al Dhiyafa Palace'. The tour concluded with a lunch reception attended by Their Highnesses, members of the Museum's Advisory Committee and a number of dignitaries.

Etihad Museum offers experience-driven exhibitions, interactive programmes and educational presentations that explore the events that culminated in the formation of the Union of the Emirates in 1971, with a key emphasis on the period between 1968 and 1974.

Through interactive exhibits and learning programmes, the Museum tells the story of the Union's creation from the perspective of the country's leaders. The experience also aims to educate visitors about the nation's constitution, in particular the rights, privileges and responsibilities that it bestows upon the people of the UAE. The Museum's collection includes objects and documents related to the events of the formation of the UAE nation. The logo of the Museum is inspired by the oval shape of the Union House.

The Museum's Advisory Committee is chaired by Mohamed Ahmed Al Mur. Members of the Committee include Minister for Cabinet Affairs and Future Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi; Minister of Health and Prevention and Chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al Owais; Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash; Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) Mattar Al Tayer; and the Director-General of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing Helal Al Marri. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395304111558.html


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Abu Dhabi Crown Prince says raising UAE flag at Union House a revival of the historic moment of 1971 #UAENationalDay45

posted on 04/12/2016

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said hoisting the UAE flag at the Union House on the 45th National Day anniversary was a revival of the historic moment when the leadership and the people's will was crowned with the union.

"As we raise the UAE flag on the 45th National Day anniversary, we glorify a symbol of our unity and we remember with gratitude the founder, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his brothers, the founding fathers and Rulers of the Emirates, who raised the flag for the first time at the Union House on 2nd December, 1971, announcing that the will of the people had overcome all challenges, obstacles and difficulties, and that a new Arab nation had just emerged on the shores of the Arabian Gulf. At that moment, the UAE made history and showed the world that sincere and dedicated efforts, free of meaningless slogans, ideologies and personal gains, created this pioneering Arab experience," he said in a statement, following the flag hoisting ceremony.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed said that the raising of the flag on the National Day anniversary was a revival of the historic moment when the will of the leadership and the people led to the union.

"It is a moment to renew our pledge to sustain the country's union, to achieve comprehensive development and to safeguard and defend the legacy, left behind by our forefather, with blood and souls, and to keep this dear anniversary alive in the hearts of all Emiratis, to inspire them to work hard and to rally behind their leadership for the ever strong and united UAE," he added.

Raising the flag also helps connect new generations with their rich and glorious past and enables them to understand the sacrifices made to make the UAE what it is today, he noted.

"Under this flag, raised and defended by our forefathers, the UAE has made a tremendous progress and will continue to do so under the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan."

Since 1971, the UAE flag had been a symbol of the country's excellence, the leadership's aspirations and the people's loyalty to the country and its leadership, and their readiness to obey the call of duty at any time, the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince said.

"The UAE flag is also a symbol of development, progress, happiness, tolerance, openness, humanity and all other noble and positive values that the UAE aspires to lead in and to motivate other nations to adopt. This task puts a huge responsibility on every Emirati, but we are confident that our people possess the determination and the ability to contribute to the progress of their country and we are assured that the future of our country is in good hands when we see the loyal Emiratis expressing their love for their country and never hesitating to sacrifice for it," he added.

"Our flag will always fly high, thanks to our leadership's wisdom and to our people's loyalty," he concluded. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395304110939.html


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Malian President opens country's embassy in Abu Dhabi

posted on 04/12/2016

Ibrahim Keita, President of Mali, on Saturday opened the embassy of his country in Abu Dhabi.

Addressing the ceremony, Ambassador Boukary Sidibe of Mali said he was delighted to represent his country in the UAE, given its prominent standing regionally and internationally.

He also thanked the UAE for the humanitarian assistance it extended to his country.

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Shehab Ahmed Al Fahim, Assistant Under-Secretary for Protocol Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, along with a number of Arab and foreign diplomats attended the opening ceremony. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395304160985.html


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Mauritanian President inaugurates Mohamed bin Zayed College

posted on 04/12/2016

NOUAKCHOTT: Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz on Friday in Nouakchott inaugurated a defence college named after His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The inauguration coincided with Mauritania's celebration of Independence Day.

Those who attended the ceremony included Ambassador of the UAE to Mauritania Abdullah Masoud Al Kalbani, Mauritania's Chief of the General Staff of the Armies Major General Mohamed Ould Cheikh Mohamed Ahmed, Mauritanian Minister of Interior and Decentralisation Ahmedou Ould Abdalllah, ministers, officials, Army and security commanders and a number of senior officers.

Minister Ould Abdalllah thanked the UAE and noted that the new important academic institution will always bear witness to the strong fraternal ties between the two countries. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395304148092.html


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UAE, Japan discuss regional, international developments

posted on 04/12/2016

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Kentaro Sonoura, Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs, met on Saturday in Abu Dhabi to discuss ways of bolstering strategic relations between the UAE and Japan in all spheres, and exchange views about the latest regional and international developments.

Welcoming the visiting Japanese minister and members of the delegation accompanying him, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah noted that their visit reflects the fact that leaders of both countries take a keen interest in exchanging visits and holding meetings to continue the development of their bilateral relations to serve the interests of the two countries and their peoples.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah underlined the importance of relations between the UAE and Japan and the strengthening of these relations in all spheres.

The Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs commended the UAE's prestigious regional and international stature, and stressed that his country takes a keen interest in promoting and developing relations with the UAE to serve the common interests of both countries. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395304146134.html


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Emirates Red Crescent delivers more food aid to Yemenis

posted on 04/12/2016

SHABWA: The Emirates Red Crescent on Saturday launched a new humanitarian effort in Yemen to distribute food packages to citizens in Yemen's southern Shabwa province as part of its efforts to improve humanitarian conditions exacerbated by the war being waged by the rebels.

The initiative stems from the UAE's keen interest in helping the Yemeni brothers to overcome the crisis caused by the war, the humanitarian agency said.

It is the latest in a series of humanitarian initiatives in Yemen and seeks to address shortage of food in the province where citizens are already financially strapped, said Abdullah Al Musaferi, Representative of the Emirates Red Crescent. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395304166145.html


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ADHA starts distribution of 5,463 plots of land, 365 houses to citizens

posted on 04/12/2016

In keeping with the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Abu Dhabi Housing Authority (ADHA) started yesterday the distribution of 365 houses and 5,463 plots of land to citizens in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Under the supervision of H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and ADHA Chairman, the Authority started to notify beneficiaries, via SMS messages, of their land or house allocations.

Some 4,065 plots will be distributed in Abu Dhabi, 1,215 in Al Ain, and 183 in the Western Region, while the housing units that are ready for distribution include115 units in Abu Dhabi,129 in Al Ain, and 121 in the Western Region.

ADHA Director General Badr Al Qubaisi said the distribution of plots of land and housing units stems from the leadership's keenness to provide decent living standards to the citizens.

According to Al Qubaisi, all housing units were designed and built to the 2 Pearl Design Rating, which confirms that construction meets the highest innovative green standards. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395304140716.html


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490 Emiratis get over AED290 m in housing assistance

posted on 04/12/2016

The Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme approved AED290.4 million in housing loans and grants for 490 eligible Emiratis, Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the national housing scheme, announced yesterday.

The amount covers 352 residential housing grants and 79 housing loans, he said during a board meeting that coincided with the celebration of the 45th UAE National Day.

The move reflects the government's keen efforts to promote happiness, provide modern housing units, and decent living conditions and welfare, for all nationals, the minister said.

The approval of the assistance is in response to the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and is being followed up by H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the minister added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395304149819.html


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Zayed Giving Initiative launches largest heart image ..#UAENationalDay45

posted on 04/12/2016

Zayed Giving Initiative has launched the world's largest pulsating human heart model to highlight its campaign to treat the underprivileged including the elderly and children worldwide.

The message of love and hope to the patients coincides with the 45th UAE National Day anniversary celebrations.

This initiative is part of the Giving Union Programme to complement the voluntary and humanitarian programmes of the Zayed Giving Initiative, locally and globally.

Dr. Adel Al Shamri, CEO of the Zayed Giving Initiative, said, "The new programme constitutes distinctive partnership, including the private and government institutions, and non-profit organisations based on their social responsibility towards the nation."

The initiative also aims at activating the institutional volunteer work and stimulating institutions to adopt volunteer programmes in community areas, he added, noting that the giving in all its themes is the trait of the UAE Union, founded 45 years ago. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395304174676.html


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Emirati inventor Majan wins gold medal at Hong Kong invention exhibition

posted on 04/12/2016

Emirati inventor Ahmed Abdullah Majan has won the gold medal for his smart bicycle's chair at the Hong Kong International Invention and Design Competition, which was hosted by the Chinese Innovation and Invention Society from 1st to 3rd December 2016 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Organisers also awarded the competition cup to Majan.

Majan dedicated his outstanding achievements to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and government and people of the UAE.

He said he was proud to represent the UAE in international technology, design and inventions exhibitions.

Global creativity, new inventions, practical technology, a variety of commercial designs and services were showcased in this platform, helping enterprises enhance their competitiveness through creativity and technology and broadening their business opportunities.

In last August, Majan secured five medals - three gold and two silver for his five inventions at the International Invention Innovation Competition, iCAN 2016, in Toronto, Canada. Majan's three gold medals were for his inventions of ‘Smart Sport Helmet', ‘Smart Saddle' and ‘Solar-Powered Animal Tracking System'. His two silver medals were awarded for his ‘Solar-Powered Bicycle Tracking System' and ‘Smart Elderly Crutch'. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395304175860.html


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